Into Great Silence

Into Great Silence
a film by Philip Groning
Into Great Silence is in theatres. Anyone interested in the monastic life has probably already heard about this movie. I have not yet seen it but I’ve been reading about it for a few weeks now. There is a great article on it in the Kansas City Star. They did a review as well.

Essentially the film was shot by Philip Groning. He moved into a monastery in France and lived there for six months filming the monks as they go about their daily lives. Everything I hear about the film has been that it can be a profound spiritual experience. I’m excited to take it in.

In trying to describe the experience he had in France, the filmmaker said “In a monastery you don’t learn about religion, you learn about yourself.” As someone who spends a lot of time at a monastery, I think this is incredibly insightful. I spent most of last week at Conception Abbey, which is a beautiful Benedictine monastery in rural Missouri. I’ve been trying to do this for 3 weeks a year and one day a month. To live the same rhythm of life as the monks, to pray with them, to embrace solitude, and silence has been an amazing gift for me over the past couple of years. I’ve never really been able to describe or explain what it is like to be at the abbey for an extended time. It’s something one must experience to understand. It sounds like the film actually helps one to experience the monastic life. I’m excited to see how he captures this incredible world on film.

If you are KC, the film is playing at the Tivoli right now. I’m sure it will make the rounds to art houses all over the country.

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